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Letters to the editor

17.11.2017

The end to the Jura conflict – Moutier switches sides

This is a lesson in democracy which Switzerland has given to Europe and the world in difficult times when many values are being challenged.

Jean Amherd, France

The Jura conflict may seem outdated. However, one look at Spain makes you glad that in the Swiss Confederation we have a model of a society where democracy is alive.

Gérard Boillet, France

Sion 2026 – a more modest Olympic Games

I can’t quite believe what I am hearing. Priority is unfortunately given to business at major sporting occasions these days, which is obvious from recent global events. I nevertheless wish the team behind the bid well.

Ernst Rütimann, Thailand

Hans Stöckli has shown remarkable commitment. However, I no longer believe the Swiss people will support the Olympic bid – except perhaps in Valais. These events based on the ethos of “bigger, better and more expensive” belong to the past. This approach will fail today simply because of the fear of terror attacks and the enormous security costs involved. Climate change is also scratching the veneer of the Winter Olympic Games.

Helen Meier, Swiss abroad

After the election – the new Council of the Swiss Abroad

I don’t feel represented by the Council of the Swiss Abroad. I do not belong to a Swiss society and was therefore excluded from the election. The Swiss are always very proud of their democracy, but this is an extremely undemocratic system. Why should I be forced to join a society if the Council of the Swiss Abroad wants to represent all Swiss people abroad? I believe that all registered Swiss citizens should be entitled to vote for the Council of the Swiss Abroad.

Kay Kunz, Swiss abroad

Why were we overlooked on our island? Should we really only be finding out about the elections after the announcement of the results?

Bernhard Mastel, Mauritius

In the latest issue of “Swiss Review”, I read: “Between January and August, Swiss citizens around the globe were called upon to elect their 140 representatives on the Council of the Swiss Abroad.” I regret that I am once again one of the many Swiss Abroad who did not hear this appeal and were not invited to take part in the election. Despite all the repeated claims to the contrary, the system of census suffrage, which belongs in the Middle Ages, clearly still applies as only registered members of certain Swiss societies can vote. I can therefore only reiterate that I do not regard the Council of the Swiss Abroad as representing me or as the legitimate voice of the Swiss Abroad. It is just a body of the societies.

Arthur Meyer, Austria

I am 75 years old and look after over 20 children at a home in Nepal. Despite being registered with the Swiss embassy, I was never informed about this election. I also see that India and Nepal are not represented on the map.

Hans Keller, Nepal

This is the first time I have heard about this Council. I live in Indonesia and see that it has no representative on the Council of the Swiss Abroad. Why is that?

Manfred Richrath, Indonesia

I can understand the discontent of many Swiss Abroad. The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad and the Council are endeavouring to make the elections more democratic. However, this will require e-voting in all cantons. All Swiss Abroad will then be able to elect their delegates directly. However, it is practically impossible to hold a direct election without e-voting. Who will organise and carry out the election? Who will pay for the voting documents to be sent out? These are just a few of the unresolved issues. Incidentally, the number of delegates per country is based on the number of registered Swiss Abroad whereby a minimum number of 1,500 Swiss Abroad must be reached. Germany and France therefore have the most delegates, whereas countries like Turkey and Bolivia have just one.

Stefania Zanier, Council of the Swiss Abroad delegate for Spain

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